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Full text of "Memoirs Of Joseph Grimaldi"

178                       MEMOIRS 03? JOSEPH GEIMAIDI.

ment of his being " called," whether he -would be able to go
npon the stage for the second act. He never failed, however;
extraordinary as his sufferings were, his fear of not being ready
as the time for his call approached, and the exertions he made
to conquer those painful feelings, invariably enabled him to
rally at the necessary time,a curious instance of the power of
habit in enabling him to struggle successfully with the weak-
nesses which no length of habit, and no repetition of the same
part, however frequent, were sufficient to banish.

The effect produced on the audience by his personation of
this character was intense: it enhanced his reputation greatly,
bringinghim before the public in quite a new line. The compli-
ments and congratulations which he received from persons rank-
ing high in his own profession, in literature, and in the fine arts,
bore high testimony to the merit and striking character of this
singular performance.

Preparations now began to be made for the production of
"Mother Goose," destined to acquire a degree of popularity
quite unprecedented in the history of pantomime, and to occupy
a place in the choicest recollections of the play-goers of the
time.

At Drury Lane, the Management, well knowing that great
preparations were making at Covent Garden for the production
of a new harlequinade on the 26th of December, and dreading
&& advantage they had gained in securing Grrimaldi, hurried on
the preparations for their own pantomime, and engaging Mont-
gomery, who had acquired some celebrity at the Circus, at a
high salary, to play Clown, produced their pantomime on the
23rd, thus gaining an advantage of three days over the other
house. The piece, however, partook infinitely more of the
character of a spectacle than a pantomime: the scenery and
tricks were good, but the "business," as it is technically termed,
was so wretched, that the audience began to hiss before it was
half over, and eventually grew so clamorous, that it was deemed to the